PappaRich, a restaurant I have seen pop up all over Instagram, and a chain that has a great reputation. PappaRich’s aim of their food hub is to introduce budding foodies to the wonderful Malaysian cuisine. Malaysian food is very unique in its way, with lots of fried chicken, noodles, curries and condiments to go with them.
We sampled a few dishes on their extensive menu, with a range of different flavours and textures. Our first dish was the Pappa Char Koay Teow wok fried flat noodles with prawns, fish cakes, egg, bean sprouts and chives. Koay Teow is one of my favourite noodle dishes, so I know a good one when I try it. What I enjoyed so much about this dish was the smoky char grilled flavours that was constant throughout. The sauce was not too oily, but enough was added to make sure the noodles did not dry out. The big chunks of egg, crunchy sprouts, vegetables, delicious chicken and seafood gave the noodles an intense flavour with a mild spice.
The next dish we tried was the Special Nasi Kunyit with fried chicken, sambal squid and sambal eggplant with turmeric rice, sliced cucumber and pappadum on the side. You will see a lot of sambal paste in Malaysian food, a hot relish made with vegetables, fruits and spices. The sambal tossed through the squid and eggplant helped to give these subtle flavours that powerful kick that Asian food needs. The fried chicken was to die for, crunchy, moist and everything you could ever imagine.
Guarantee if you haven’t already you will become addicted to the next dish, Pappa Deep Fried Chicken Skin. Pork crackling may be one of the most addictive and delicious things to eat, but what about chicken skin? Can confirm it is just as good, every bite was crunchy and addictive and I could not get enough. This is a must try when dining at PappaRich, and one of their specialties.
We then tried one of Pappa’s curries Roti Canai with Curry Chicken which comes with a serve of curry chicken, dhal and sambal for dipping. I have always been a fan of Indian curries, so my initial thought was; will this Malaysian curry be as good? Safe to say that it hit my curry craving right on the spot. The chicken coated in the lightly spiced curry sauce was to die for. I loved how the roti bread was slightly oiled and incredibly crispy on the outside.
Next up was the juicy Chicken Satay Skewers: chicken slices marinated in fresh lemongrass and turmeric served on skewers, and peanut sauce on the side for dipping. I find that sometimes chicken satay sauce can be too over whelming and drowns out the chicken. The light tangy sauce used on this chicken was not to overwhelming and perfectly portioned. The skewers themselves weren’t too big so it is a perfect entrée dish to have before a main meal. I loved that they added fresh cucumber on the side, as dipping this in the satay sauce was a highlight.
Another incredible noodle dish was the Pappa Fried Rice Noodles: wok fried rice starch noodles with chicken slices, prawns, egg, bean sprouts, chives and red chilli. Slightly spicier than the Koay Teow this noodle dish was full of zest, crunch and flavour. I find that Asian restaurants will regularly use frozen seafood, which sometimes means the dishes lack flavour. The prawns in these noodles were incredibly fresh and plump and did not taste frozen. The thick rice noodles helped to give the dish some more texture compared to your typical thin noodles.
The next dish was a great mix of Special Nasi Goreng: mixed vegetable fried rice served with fried chicken, fried egg, pappadum, sambal and cucumber slices. The fried rice was incredibly flavoursome and I loved the addition of the runny egg, dripping through the rice. The large piece of fried chicken was not only enough for two, but crispy and hearty. The light, watery cucumber helped to break up the strong spices. A incredible blend of different condiments which made a hearty and filling dish.
Coming to a near end of our feast we tried the Nasi Lemak with Beef Rendang, anchovies, beans, cucumber and egg. Most people would agree that this combination of food is unique and interesting, and you do not see it often. I really enjoyed the salty burst of anchovy combined with the subtle creamy rice. The beef rending was soft, and the sauce rich and hearty. The addition of the cucumber and the egg helped to keep the meat fresh and alive.
Last but not least was the Asam Fish: fresh fish topped with spicy and tangy sauce. The seafood used in this dish was a large anchovy like fish, which was quite salty. For anyone not a big fish eater this may be quite overwhelming in taste, in saying this the combinations worked extremely well together. The salty fish paired with the spicy and tangy sauce, which was a party on the taste buds.
Thank you for the team at PappaRich for having us along to sample their extensive menu. Located on the bustling Gouger Street, just a hop skip and a jump from Chinatown.
Words by Tomika Salerno
WHERE: 116 Gouger St, Adelaide